Various Artists

Café Après-midi: Safran

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Café Après-midi: Safran shifts gears from previous volumes in the long-running series -- while still drawing heavily on the effervescent bossa nova rarities that are his stock-in-trade, compiler Toru Hashimoto completely forgoes the soft pop and cool jazz tunes common to most other Café Après-midi sets in favor of emphasizing Italian soundtrack cuts, jazz fusion tracks, and even some quiet storm bits. The result is a collection that's even more eclectic but no less wonderful than Hashimoto's other sets of "Music for Coffeewise Tokyo" -- no matter where or when his material originates, even the most left-field selections fit the summertime ambience perfectly. Highlights this time around include Astrud Gilberto and Stanley Turrentine's "Brazilian Tapestry," Walter Wanderley's "Tristeza," Natalie Natal's "Knowing You," and Seawind's "He Loves You."